BERLIN (AP) – The Latest on a storm affecting parts of Europe (all times local):
Gale-force winds gusting at up to 70 mph (110 kph) have been recorded in Britain, where thousands of homes in southeast England have been left without electricity.
The wind has damaged some of the overhead power lines that supply trains and brought trees crashing onto the tracks, causing severe delays for thousands of commuters. Some service to London’s King’s Cross station has been disrupted.
Driving conditions in parts of Scotland are extremely hazardous, with officials advising motorists to stay off the roads because of blustery winds, heavy snow and icy conditions.
Officials at the Met Office forecasting service said the strong winds started to subside Thursday morning. Spokesman Charlie Powell said that “In the last couple of hours the wind speeds have already started to come down significantly.”
The port of Ghent has been closed because of the high winds that are lashing Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
Belgium set of its code orange alert – the second highest storm warning – for the north of the country early Thursday and tram traffic had to be halted in parts of the capital Brussels, where several public parks had to be closed.
Trees were uprooted in several cities. Traffic at the international airport of Zaventem was largely uninterrupted.
Dutch flag carrier KLM has cancelled 220 flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as a powerful westerly storm lashes the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.
KLM and Schiphol warned of disruptions caused by Thursday’s strong winds with the airport reporting scores of canceled or delayed flights.
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute issued a Code Red, the most severe weather warning, for large parts of the country and said wind gusts reached 140 kph (87 mph) in the southern port of Hook of Holland.
Trains were also taking a battering, with many delays and cancelations, including between the towns of Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn due to what the national rail service called a collision between a train and a trampoline. The service had no further details of the collision. There were no reports of injuries.
Schools remain closed in many parts of Germany as the country prepares for a winter storm that’s expected to come in from the west and bring heavy snow, rain and gusty winds.
Authorities warned Germans, especially in western and northern Germany, to not leave their homes on Thursday if possible.
German Railways said on its website that many trains would decrease their speed because of the storm and that delays are expected.
Firefighters and police responded late Wednesday to numerous car crashes in northern and southern Germany because of heavy snowfall and slippery roads.
German news agency dpa reported that police said that there were crashes “every other minute” on highways between Wilhelmshaven and Westerstede in northern Germany.